I’ve picked up a new habit; just like cooking is a relatively newly found hobby of mine….my new habit is wandering up and down every fresh produce aisle at the grocery store. For a while now I’ve been eyeing artichokes because they intrigue me – so pretty like a flower and yet I’ve never cooked them. Clearly my intuition is to buy a bunch of fresh baby artichokes and be intimidated to cook them. For two days I opened the refrigerator, scanned to see what I could use to cook, eyed the artichokes and skipped them because it looked too complicated. Finally, on the third day figuring I should eat it while it’s fresh, I decided to give it a go. I found a recipe online by The Wimpy Vegetarian which called for grilling; I slightly modified the recipe (the link is listed at the end of this post).
- artichokes - 6 baby
- water - 3 cups
- white wine - 1/3 cup
- lemon juice - 1 whole lemon squeezed
- salt - 2/3 tablespoon
- garlic - 2 cloves peeled and smashed
- peppercorn - 1 teaspoon
- mint - 1 sprig
- Mint Chimichurri Sauce
- mint leaves - 1/3 cup
- cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup
- garlic - 1 clove
- green chilli - 1 whole
- lime juice - 1 whole squeezed
- salt - to taste
- olive oil - 1/4 cup
Remove a few layers of the artichoke leaves until you get to a slightly tender portion of the artichoke. Then trim the top and bottom off the artichokes and soak them in a bowl of water with lemon juice – this creates acidulated water (whattt? Fancy culinary lingo right? I just learned the term myself…and I’ll be using the term with my friends to sound all well versed in the culinary arts - maybe).
After about 5 minutes boil the acidulated water in a pot at medium-high heat along with the wine , 2 smashed garlic cloves, black pepper corn and mint sprig. Cut your artichokes in half and add it into the pot for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool enough to work with.
At this point toss the artichokes with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill them for about 3 minutes on each side until you get deep golden grill marks. I used the George Foreman and held them pressed down for about 3 minutes and I was done.
Platter your artichokes and drizzle the Mint Sauce (it makes all the difference in taste).
For the mint sauce, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil, and use a blender to mince, then gradually add the olive oil.
Verdict: It’s very tasty but it’s work to eat them considering you need to scrape the flesh out of each leaf. Have them when you’re not starving as an appetitzer or snack and make sure you drizzle tons of the mint sauce to dip each leaf into. As per myself, I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for trying something new!